I’m Karen, a silversmith with over 25 years experience in designing, making & teaching.
I began my jewellery career in 1992 – working in the retail jewellery trade, qualifying as a gemmologist (FGA) and retail jeweller (RJDip) before gaining a degree in Silversmithing & Jewellery at London Guildhall University, Sir John Cass Faculty, London.
I worked as a silversmith within a busy London workshop, making bespoke large-scale commemorative and decorative silver artworks.
From this, I went on to become a fully qualified teacher (P.G.C.E) working with secondary pupils teaching Design and Technology (in Resistant Materials: metalwork, woodwork, and plastics).
In 2019, I established BENCHspace to offer people the opportunity to make in metal and to learn the foundation skills needed to make your own work.
I have taught all ages and abilities over the years, and I strongly believe that making is good for the soul, whatever your ability.
After relocating to the Essex Coast, I was awarded with a Distinction, in my M.A. in Contemporary Art & Professional Practice from Essex University.
Over the years I have exhibited internationally and been awarded prizes for my work from The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, The Worshipful Company of Pewterers, The National Association of Goldsmiths and the British Jewellers Association.
My time is now mainly spent teaching classes in my little jewellery workshop by the sea and passing on my love of making in metal.
Making is mindfulness in action, so much more than just technical skills, and is extremely good for your wellbeing.
A combination of both science and art, a technical kind of magic that is fun to make and a joy to wear.
BENCHspace is all about building a creative community, offering tuition for jewellery makers and silversmiths.
The workshop is set up to be a friendly and supportive space packed with every type of tool and machine to allow your ideas to come to life.